Mother’s Day is a special holiday that celebrates the beauty and diversity of motherhood. But even though this day is so meaningful to many, it can be an especially emotional and difficult day. Some women have lost mothers while others have lost children. Some have struggled with infertility and others have given the gift of motherhood through adoption. Whichever it is, Mother’s Day can be a reminder of loss for many.
While we always recognize and honor adoptive mothers on Mother’s Day, we often fail to do the same for birth mothers. Birth mothers make an adoption plan for a number of different reasons, but placing their child into adoption was ultimately a choice made out of immense love. Take the time that day to honor her role in growing your family and admire her strength in choosing adoption.
Every birth mother/adopted family relationship is different. They all have different boundaries and expectations. Choosing how you honor your child’s birth mother is a personal decision. Here are some different ways you can honor her this Mother’s Day.
1. Plant a tree in her honor. This is an activity that you and your child can do together and something that can be a continual reminder of the roots she planted in your life. Her sacrifice has grown your family and given you more love. Planting a flower or tree can be a permanent reminder of the contribution she made to your family and a place you and your child can go to be reminded of her love.
2. Talk about your child’s birth parents, and give them the opportunity to talk, too. Answer their questions and listen to their thoughts and feelings. Being open and honest about your child’s birth mother is a beautiful way to recognize her on this day. When adoptive parents speak of birth parents with love and tenderness, their children will look at adoption in a positive way and see it as a wonderful way to start a family. They will see that by choosing adoption, their birth mother was choosing to love them in a unique way.
3. Create a photo book for her. Depending on how much contact you have with the birth mother, you can create a photo album of the last year to send to her. Being able to see your child grow up, even just in pictures, helps her to feel included and special on this day. Even though she may not be the one there day to day, she played a significant role in bringing your child into the world. Giving her the gift of pictures is a simple gesture that will mean the world to her.
4. Take her out to lunch if you are closely connected. Some birth mothers and adoptive families have close relationships. If this is the case, planning a special lunch or day together is a beautiful way to include her in the day’s celebrations. If there is a distance between the families, try a FaceTime date or a phone call. Open relationships between adoptive and birth parents are special and spending Mother’s Day all together is a wonderful way to celebrate the diversity of motherhood.
5. Celebrate Birth Mother’s Day. Birth Mother’s Day is the Saturday before Mother’s Day. It’s an unofficial holiday created in 1990 by a group of Seattle birth moms as a way to honor the unique contributions of mothers who placed children for adoption. Celebrating Birth Mother’s Day can be a way to give your child’s birth mother the individual attention she deserves for the beautiful choice she made. However, some birth mothers feel that this separate day undermines their role as a mother, making them feel that they do not count as “real” mothers. Others love the idea of getting their own special day. Make sure to respect how your birth mother feels about this idea before making plans.
6. Ask her! Mother’s Day is not going to be an easy day for her and she may not know how she feels about being a part of it. Communicate with her about your desire to honor her and ask her how she would like you to do that. Maybe she wants a simple phone call or maybe she’d like some homemade artwork. Make sure to respect her wishes on this day and honor her in the way that best serves you both.
7. Create your own tradition. There is no right way to celebrate and every family is distinctive. Talk with your child about what they would like to do to honor her and create your own tradition for your unique family.
Whatever way you decide to celebrate Mother’s Day, make sure to take some time to honor the woman who gave birth to your child. She played a special part in expanding your family and she deserves praise for the brave choice she made. It’s meaningful to communicate to your child’s birth mother that you’re thinking of her on Mother’s Day, a day when she may feel extra emotional. Motherhood comes in many forms. Birth mothers are no less of mothers than adoptive mothers. Motherhood is ultimately defined by the love of a mother, whether she chose to place her baby for adoption or became a mother through adoption. Take the time on Mother’s Day to celebrate all mothers everywhere.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Devon Thornton is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. She has recently moved from Orlando, FL to Clarksville, TN, and is pursuing her writing career with Adoption Choices and also writing personal essays in her free time. Devon is an avid reader and a big Harry Potter fan.
When she’s not curled up reading a book, you can find her somewhere on a hike or a camping trip. She loves her cat, Minerva, and considers herself a true animal lover. She hopes one day to publish a book of essays and to maybe meet J.K. Rowling.
Davenport, Dawn. “Should You Celebrate Mother’s Day or Birthmother’s Day?” Creating a Family, 4 May 2016, creatingafamily.org/adoption-category/should-you-celebrate-birthmothers-day/.
Fraga, Juli. “Honoring and Remembering Birth Mothers on Mother’s Day.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 7 Dec. 2017, www.huffpost.com/entry/honoring-remembering-birt_n_5291898.
“Honoring Your Child’s Birth Mom on Mother’s Day.” Nightlight Christian Adoptions, 9 May 2018, www.nightlight.org/2018/05/honoring-your-childs-birth-mom-on-mothers-day/.
Hood, Diane. “Parenting Tips: The Importance of Honoring Birth Parents.” America World Adoption, 14 Aug. 2017, awaa.org/blog/parenting-tips-the-importance-of-honoring-birth-parents/.